Asheville is such a great spot for those who love a little dose of city life and great scenery at the same time. Downtown is always expanding, and there are plenty of interesting new areas popping up, such as the South Slope. Amazing breweries are a dime a dozen in the 828 now, and the culinary scene is growing all the time. If you want to see some sights other than downtown, quaint Biltmore Village and peaceful Fairview are great parts of the Asheville area you don't want to miss.
My favorite place to shop and stroll in Asheville is Biltmore Village. Just a stone's throw from the Biltmore House, this is a quaint area to browse great clothing & gifts. My friend Dema has just opened a fabulous store, Scout Boutique. It's bright and sunny inside, & the best part is that it's part clothing boutique and part consignment shop! There are plenty of other cute stores to check out within walking distance to Scout, such as Porter & Prince. This is the perfect place to treat yourself or another lady in your life to luxe towels, soaps, and gifts.
A great spot in Biltmore for a quick bite is the charming cafe, Well Bred. The outdoor tables are the perfect people watching spot. They have great fresh salads and giant eclairs on the cheap so you can save your money for shopping.
If you like a good glass of wine, head to the wine bar at Rezaz in Biltmore. The ambiance is clean, chic, & comfortable and the wine list is extensive. You obviously also need to try a local brewery while in town, so Highland Brewing Company is your best bet. There are often events that bring in food trucks and live music, and the tasting room has really expanded over the years. Have a Highland Gaelic and you will be a happy camper!
When I think of going back to my hometown, I think of curvy country roads and lots of wide open cow pastures. This is what you'll find if you want to make an easy drive into Fairview, about 20-30 minutes outside of downtown Asheville. A great way to get your dose of mountain air and relaxing scenery is to check out a local farm, such as Cloud 9. The owner, Janet, is a fantastic beekeeper & gardener, and also happens to be my 4th grade teacher. She let us feed chickens & cows, then the kids got to play on hay stacks and by the pond. Getting to visit a farm with friends I used to play in barns with (and their children) was indeed a treat. Call for a private tour, go pick some blueberries there this summer, or rent a cabin if you want to live like a local for a few days.
Y'all come back now, ya hear?!